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Colorado Department of Health Confirms Surgical Infections at Porter Adventist Hospital

The head of the Colorado Department of Health announced Wednesday that authorities confirmed surgical infections in "a number of patients" at a Denver hospital at the center of an investigation into sterilization practices.

Infections occurred between July 21, 2016, and April 5 in patients who had orthopedic or spine surgery at the Porter Adventist Hospital. The hospital suspended all surgeries after officials at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment encountered problems with the way the hospital was cleaning its instruments after surgeries. CDPHE also expressed concern about the waste in the tools after cleaning them, which Porter attributed to a possible water quality problem, according to a CDPHE statement on Wednesday.

In that statement, Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director of CDPHE, said Porter has made several changes requested by state officials and that he would resume surgeries "on a limited schedule" on Thursday. His statement did not specify how many patients were discovered to have suffered surgical infections during the time period or what the infections were.

"It is not known if these infections are related to rape and we may not be able to determine the linkage," Wolk said.

When CDPHE announced the rape, he said patients may have had a low risk of contracting hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV.


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